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  • Danny Harrington

The Sega Dream: Remembering the Legacy of the Dreamcast

The Dreamcast is an icon of console gaming, not only was it Sega’s last entry into the console market space, but it was a hail Mary attempt to right the wrongs of the company’s previous mistakes with the Saturn.

Unfortunately for Sega the Dreamcast was too little to late for most gamers who had switched to the PlayStation. To say Sony’s PS1 kicked the Saturn’s ass is an understatement, is was the equivalent of a nuclear bomb on the console market and setting the scene for Sony’s place in the future of console gaming.

Sega needed an answer to Sony and that was the Sega Dreamcast, the way Sega went about it was a strange one because the American arm of Sega developed the Dreamcast with a company called 3Dfx which would develop chips for the console, or so they thought. Instead, the Japanese arm of the company went with NEC instead despite big video games developers allegedly telling the company otherwise. It may or may not have affected EA’s decision to not provide games for the console, but there are other reported reasons.

EA did not kill the Dreamcast though, and whilst Sega would miss EA’s high selling sports games, you can argue that Sega’s own sports offerings were and still are superior to EA’s current offerings. If EA had developed games for the Dreamcast then you’d argue that it’s biggest rivals in the sports games market 2K wouldn’t exist as they started with Sega.

Enough on EA let’s look at this amazing console, I never had a Dreamcast as a kid, but I always wanted one and so during the pandemic I finally got my dream console. First game I played was Sonic Adventure, the graphics are quite comparable to modern graphics, the console was the first to bring online gameplay into existence and yes it was exnihilated by the PlayStation 2 in terms of sales it was a throw at the wall and see what stuck. It’s a beautiful piece of tech and there’s a reason why it’s held in such high regards to this day.

What’s not to love about the Dreamcast, from amazing graphics for it’s time, to online features and that amazing start up sound. The only sad feeling I get from it, is that it was withdrawn to soon from the marketplace and was really the death of Sega as we knew it.

Sega today is a shadow of its former self, relying on its sister company Sammy’s pachinko machines and it’s IP (mostly sonic) to make money. But if I can make one final point for any Xbox fans, a lot of the original Xbox shares a lot with the Dreamcast, and whilst there’s no actually successor to the Dreamcast you could consider Microsoft and the Xbox the successor of Sega’s console.

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